ECU named “Best in the Southeast”


The Princeton Review named ECU one of the “Best Schools in the Southeast,” based on academic achievements and student surveys.

The Princeton Review, which helps prepare college and graduate school-bound students through its website and publications, ranked the university among the top 135 schools in the Southeast as part of the “2013 Best Colleges: Region by Region” feature, including 633 schools. According to the company, the goal of the feature was to “identify some of the colleges and universities that they feel stand out within each region.”

“We’re pleased to recommend East Carolina University to users of our site as one of the best schools to earn their undergrad degree,” said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s senior vice president and publisher, in a news release. “We chose it and the other terrific institutions we name as ‘regional best’ colleges mainly for their excellent academic programs.”

“We’ve maintained an emphasis on our academic core in our undergraduate curriculum,” said Provost Marilyn Sheerer in an interview with ECU News Services. “This means a focus on higher academic standards, availability and excellence of the faculty, tutoring services, and a wide array of academic majors. The initiation of our Honors College at ECU also helps to highlight our academic standards.”

To make the unnumbered list, each school fit the company’s standard of academic excellence as well as completed surveys by the students at the school. According to ECU News Services, the listing includes demographic data collected from the university, and impressions students reported about their campus experiences as part of an 80-question survey.

“Since student voices were also part of the data collection, the recognition is even more important from my perspective,” said Sheerer. “The rating acknowledges the availability and quality of our undergraduate academic offerings along with our high quality student affairs programs and services.”

Caroline Price, a freshman biology major who hopes to attend dental school, said she enjoys campus and its close proximity. She thinks the university is deserving of the top school recognition.

“The more well known we are, the more people will apply,” said Price. “I think (the recognition) is good for a school as a whole.”

“Such ratings allow high school student applicants and their families to consider why undergraduate education at ECU is recognized as very high quality,” said Sheerer.

Features about the university highlighted on the website include the large size with a small-school atmosphere, small classes, friendly people and a comfortable campus. The site noted that the university is “in the business of providing excellent education at a reasonable price.”

Also recognized was the nursing program, which one student said was “one of the best nursing schools,” citing the high scores students receive on the National Council Licensure Examination.

“It’s definitely improved in the four years since I’ve been here,” said Jason Blumfeld, a senior environmental geography major.

Blumfeld said he’s noticed students have become more serious academically, attending class more each year.

“ECU puts student success first, and this rating reflects that emphasis,” said Sheerer.

Seven other University of North Carolina System schools made the list, and they include Appalachian State University, N.C. State University, and the UNC-Asheville, UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Greensboro, Pembroke and UNC-Wilmington.


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